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Rockaway Beach Residents Prepare For Another Storm

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TWC News: Rockaway Beach Residents Prepare For Another Storm
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Folks in Rockaway Beach are doing what they can to prepare as another significant storm bears down on them. NY1's Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.

If it weren't for the bulldozers building berms to protect the boardwalk, Saturday would've seemed like another gorgeous late fall day at Rockaway Beach. With Sandy hurtling north, people living here don't have the luxury of a leisurely weekend.

"I got a couple of sandbags, I got my pump, my generator, all the gas ready," said resident Robert Breen. "In case we lose power and I can keep pumping out."

The Klohes built a fortress of sandbags around their home. They also joined a group of volunteers who filled 1,300 sandbags to help safeguard an already battered coastline.

"I'm pretty nervous, I'm not going to lie," said resident Melissa Klohe. "Irene was hyped up and it turned out not to be so bad, but it looks like we're one of the main targets of the storm."

Rockaway Beach still hasn't fully recovered from Tropical Storm Irene's abuse last year. Now, Sandy threatens to wash away $3.8 million of repairs and wreak even more havoc.

Beyond the shore, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said a fleet of equipment is waiting to grind up what could be a massive amount of downed trees.

"With the leaves still being on the trees, in that situation, when you have heavy wind and rain, the leaves on that tree could act like a sail and potentially cause the tree to fall more readily than if the leaves were off," Lewandowski said. "So this is a tough time of year to have a storm like this."

Although people are prepping and monitoring the forecast as diligently as any meteorologist, not everyone is prepared to leave if the city orders an evacuation.

"I'll ride it out," said resident Daniel Klohe. "I'm not going to leave. I'll probably spend some time on the boardwalk."

The Queens Parks Commissioner warns people to stay inside during the storm, steer clear of trees and dial 311 if you see something that requires the city's attention.

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